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Elbow’s Sonic Tranquility Rubs Off on L.A. Fans


Los Angeles’ typical weekend ruckus was slightly more subdued this past Friday (May 9), as the ethereal melodies of Elbow filled Hollywood’s club Avalon to the brim. The eclectic audience, made up of thirtysomething artists, lovey-dovey couples, and the occasional Hollywood actor, seemed mesmerized by Guy Garvey, the David Gray-esque frontman with a voice as soothing as honey, who charismatically commandeered the stage with confidence and tranquility whilst singing about love, heartbreak, loneliness, and social tyranny. Violins, trumpets, and angelic choruses only added a layer of artistic texture to the striking performance.

The politically-tinged “Leaders of the Free World,” off the band’s 2005 album of the same name, drew a strong crowd reaction, particularly when Garvey’s heavy-handed guitar solo kicked in. “Mirrorball,” from their latest set The Seldom Seen Kid, invoked a disco ball from the ceiling, filling the room with bright wisps of light and providing an apt leeway into the show’s most poignant moment, as Garvey requested the entire venue sing “Happy Birthday” to drummer Richard Jupp’s son Dylan, who was been unable to be with his father on his birthday.

And later, Garvey, smile across his face, perhaps summarized exactly what was on his mind, stating, “this is the best job in the world, I’m afraid.” The crowd was thankful he held the title, hungry and wanting more from his esteemed position.

We asked: One of Elbow’s most known tunes, “Grace Under Pressure,” contains the anthemic lyrical maxim, “we still believe in love, so fuck you.”Why do you still believe in Elbow’s music?

Elbow / Photo by Maggie Serrano

Elbow / Photo by Maggie Serrano

Elbow / Photo by Maggie Serrano